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About Newlands

Newlands is an upmarket suburb at the foot of Table Mountain in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. Newlands is the wettest suburb in South Africa due to its high winter rainfall. It is home to a number of good schools. It is well known for the Newlands Cricket Ground and Newlands Rugby Stadium which hosts local and international games.

It is home to a great slice of history, the Josephine Mill was first built in 1940, and while its machinery stopped operating in 1963, it was renovated and reconstructed to begin functioning again in 1988. Located on the banks of the Liesbeek River, it is both a museum and the only remaining water mill that is found in the city.

The Liesbeek River runs through Newlands, past the Vineyard Hotel, and was the original water source used to make the first European-style beer in southern Africa. Friends of The Liesbeek maintain a walk along the river bank, past landmarks in the area.

TRANSPORT: Travelling around the Southern Suburbs is relatively easy.
Download the mobile app TCT (Transport Cape Town) which is available for the following smartphones: Windows Phone, iPhone, Android and Blackberry and under the name ‘TCT’ (look for the red logo). The app incorporates MyCiti, Golden Arrow (private bus company and Metrorail.

MyCiti (Cape Town’s bus system) does not yet operate in the Southern Suburbs, but Golden Arrow does.

There are plenty of good, safe and reliable taxi firms in Cape Town, taxis cannot be hailed in the street, a telephone call is required.

Mini-bus Taxis are shared taxis can be hailed in the street on busy routes. There is a lot of bad press about minibus taxis, to be safe stick to the busy routes during the day.

Uber operates in Cape Town.

Metrorail operates short distance commuter trains to Simon’s Town through the southern suburbs (southern line), to the Northern Suburbs and outlying towns of Paarl, Wellington, Malmesbury and Worcester. For the map of the lines see Metrorail. There is also a Metrorail App available.

For beach and sightseeing holidays, the summer months are best from October to April, however, in both April and October the weather is variable and unpredictable. Winters are mild with temperatures in a range of 8ºC and 17ºC but winter is the rainy season. There is something to be said for a warm fireside, sipping the Cape’s award-winning red wines, while the wind and rain rage outside. Winter is also whale-watching season. December/January is the time most South Africans take their annual holiday and the summer break for school children, so booking is often essential, but there is always more to do and see.

Cape Town has a Mediterranean-style climate with wet, cool winters, and dry warm summers. The average summer temperatures are 24ºC with January and February averaging 26ºC.
Cape Town lies on the 34th latitude south, however, Cape Town’s climate is a collection of micro-climates of which the Northern Suburbs has more than one. Apart from air pressure, wind and temperatures, the cold current, mountains, and built-environment are additional factors that influence the local weather. Check with the forecasts for the daily weather.
The front view of Table Mountain is famous for its tablecloth, the south-east wind blows cool air off the sea which is forced up over the mountain, this air condenses into clouds which ‘spill’ over the front. The tablecloth is a good indicator that the southeaster (the prevailing summer wind) is blowing and that the beaches along the Atlantic Seaboard are a better bet than those in False Bay.

The transition between mountain and flat the change in vegetation becomes clear, there are patches of Afromontane forest in the kloofs of Table Mountain, the higher and lower slopes the fynbos is characterised by large protea bushes, and as the land gets flatter so does the vegetation with Strandveld fynbos growing on the ‘Flats’. There are literally hundreds of flowering species.
Fynbos comprises four major plant groups:
● Proteas: large shrubs with broad leaves
● Ericas: heath-like, low-growing shrubs
● Restios: reed-like plants; are the only group that are found in all fynbos habitats
● Geophytes: bulbs; these include watsonias and disas both of which occur mainly in wetland areas and are prominent after fires.

Fynbos is a fire-dependent vegetation that needs to burn around every 15 years to stimulate new growth and ensure that plant and animal communities remain healthy. If it doesn’t burn in about 20 – 30 years, it stops producing seeds which could cause the extinction of some species. If fire is too frequent due to human intervention seed banks are depleted which can change the diversity of plant species in the area.

There are nearly always flowers to be seen. Ask the Fynbos Guy what is currently flowering on the Table Mountain Chain.

The Southern Suburbs are built-up residential areas of Cape Town. Large mammals are no longer abundant in these regions small interesting and often endemic animals such as mongoose, otters, tortoises, snakes, lizards, frogs and toads can be observed especially in the nature reserves.

Look out for the bright blue-headed Southern Rock Agama, the prehistoric looking Black Girdled Lizard and the Cape Skink.

There are some interesting endemic and endangered Amphibians, the Table Mountain Ghost Frog is a special find, but look out for the Cape Chirping Frog, Cape River Frog, the endangered Leopard toad and the tiny Arum Lily Frog.

Two species of Tortoises are common, the Angulate Tortoise and the Parrot-beaked Tortoise.

There are 22 snake species, ten of which are non-venomous, although they can still deliver a nasty bite if provoked. Some of the venomous species include the Cape Cobra, the Puff Adder, Boomslang, Rinkhals and Berg Adder. The good news is it they are mostly shy and will avoid human contact. The one you are most likely to encounter is the Puff Adder which enjoys nice warm spots, such as rocks and pathways (best to keep out of its way).

Insects play an integral role in the fynbos ecosystem either by directly pollinating plants or as a vital source of nutrient for birds and animals. Some are especially adapted to pollinate specific plants. Look out for butterflies such as the Mountain Pride Butterfly that is the exclusive pollinator of a variety of red plants such as the red disa, and the red crassula.

The many niches and habitats that exist (ocean, shoreline, cliff-face, rocky highland, fynbos, forest and suburbia) contributes to a large species count, as does the geographical positioning at a continent's corner, many vagrants and seasonal visitors can be spotted.

For a full bird list or birding checkllist see the SANparks website or for further information on birding in the Cape Peninsula, contact: The Cape Bird Club on 021 559 0726 or www.capebirdclub.org


1) Hikes from Rhodes Memorial
The path from the memorial goes up to the King’s Block House and connects with both the Contour Path and Tafelberg Road. Tafelberg Road is a foot path that winds its way around Devil’s Peak and eventually joins the tarred road that goes past the Cable Station. The Contour Path (if you go left) will take you through Newlands Forest to Kirstenbosch Gardens and all the way to Constantia Nek.

2) Newlands Forest
Newlands Forest is incorporated into the Table Mountain National Park. The forest is a popular with locals for walks, hikes, jogging and picnics and braais (South African barbeques). The contour path (following a contour line of Table Mountain all the way from Tafelberg Road, past the cable car station, and through to Constantia Nek) passes through Newlands Forest. The forest includes indigenous afrotemperate forest and endangered Granite Fynbos, as well as extensive pine plantations. Look out for the tiny little frog called sandellia that lives in the waters of the Liesbeek River. Of historical interest are the Woodcutter's Cottage and Lady Anne Barnard's Path.

The Fire Station operates emergency bushfire operations from the Newlands base, three helicopters run water dumps from Newlands. This is also the headquarters of the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) firefighting group.
Braai (barbeque) or picnic at Newlands Forest
Set under the shade of towering pine trees, with several hikes leading from the picnic area, Newlands forest is an idyllic braai spot for a fun day out.
There is a charge for a picnic site.
Entrance on the M3 freeway near UCT
Monday to Sunday from 8am to 5pm
+27 21 422 1601/2

3) Brewery Tours
Newlands Brewery brews eight famous beers. Get a fantastic beer experience along with a taste of history with 200 years of tradition. Take a tour and sample beer at its freshest.
Monday – Thursday: 10am, 12pm & 2pm
Friday 10am, 12pm, 2pm & 4pm
Wednesday evenings: 6pm
Saturdays: 10am, 12pm
+27 21 658 7440

4) Montebello Design Centre
The Montebello Board has made the beautiful and historic stables space at Montebello available as a collaborative design space. Montebello Design Centre in Newlands Avenue. Included are artists’ studios, shops, restaurant and nursery. Artist work, give classes and sell their crafts, ceramics, jewellery, and printmaking in the centre.

5) Rugby Stadium
Newlands Stadium has a capacity of 51,900 people. It is the oldest rugby stadium in South Africa and the second-oldest rugby stadium in the world. Stormers in Super Rugby and Western Province in the Currie Cup currently use the stadium as their home base. Soccer clubs Ajax Cape Town, Santos and Vasco da Gama have in the past hosted matches at the stadium
8 Boundary Rd, Newlands

6) SA Rugby Museum
There is a whole section in the museum documenting evolution of the rugby ball. Other exhibits are rugby props and paraphernalia ranging from the country's first rugby caps to a replica of the 1995 World Cup trophy and the magic rugby boot that made it all possible. Enjoy a blast from the past with radio commentators from the '50s, '60s and '70s talking through legendary tries and kicks. Memorable games can be watching from benches.
Sports Science Institute, Boundary Road, Newlands
Open 8am-4.30pm Mon-Thur; 8am-4pm Fri.
Tours (incl tour of Newlands Rugby Stadium)
+27 21 686 2151

7) Newlands Cricket Ground
Newlands Cricket Ground is the home of the Cape Cobras and a venue for Test matches, ODIs and T20Is. Newlands is regarded as one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in the world, back dropped by Table Mountain and Devil's Peak. The cricket ground opened in 1888.
146 Campground Rd, Newlands
+27 21 657 2004

Take a guided tour behind-the-scenes of Newlands history and famous landmarks. The tour will take you to
● See the President’s suite, visited by world famous politicians and celebrities.
● Wander around the Snake Pit and the Oaks.
● Visit the practise facilities and nets on the B-field.
● View the player’s dressing room and the media centre.
● Visit the Long Room in the Western Province Cricket Club.
● Take your first steps on the hallowed main field.
● Visit the Memorial scoreboard and the third umpire's booth.
Book a tour of the stadium
+27 21 657 2015

8) Vineyard Hotel
The Vineyard Hotel founder, Lady Anne, built a country cottage in 1799, and since then, as urban residence and 120-year-old hotel. Today the Vineyard is a living green hotel and an award-winning leader in ‘Responsible Hoteling’ and a certified member of Fair Trade Tourism.

9) Josephine Mill Museum
The Mill, originally built in 1802, was bequeathed by its heir, Myra East, in 1975. At the time, the Mill was in a state of disrepair. Abandoned in the 1930s. Today the Mill is a destination that not only honours this piece of Cape History, but also respects the traditions of the community, an awareness of natural and organic living and responsibility to the environment.

At the shop one can purchase stone-ground flour freshly milled on site as well as delicious baked bread. The building includes an outdoor restaurant set within the tranquil Mill gardens on the edge of the tranquil Liesbeek River.
Caveau Wine Bar and Deli
Open Monday to Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

10) Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is the most beautiful garden in Africa and one of the most beautiful in the world. It is one of 10 botanical gardens in South Africa and was established in 1913 to promote, conserve and display the extraordinarily rich and diverse flora of southern Africa. The setting is like no other, on the lower slopes of Table Mountain. Kirstenbosch is the first ever garden to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kirstenbosch displays a wide variety of the unique plant life of the Cape Flora, known as fynbos. Plants from all the diverse regions and biomes of southern Africa are also grown at Kirstenbosch, including a near-complete collection of cycads. The Botanical Society Conservatory is a custom-built glasshouse which grows and displays plants from the arid regions that cannot survive outdoors. There are over 7 000 species in cultivation at Kirstenbosch, including many rare and threatened species.

More than just a garden, Kirstenbosch is part of a nature reserve – the garden is part of a larger estate on the mountainside that supports natural forest and fynbos along with a variety of animals and birds. The Kirstenbosch Estate borders the Table Mountain National Park, and the Garden merges seamlessly with the natural fynbos and forest of the mountain.

Picnicking on the lawn is allowed, but ball games are not allowed in the gardens.

Maps can be download from the official site or from the ticket office. Not to be missed regions in the garden are:
● Camphor Avenue
● Fragrance Garden
● Garden of Extinction
● Braille Trail
● The 200-hundred-year old Colonel Bird's Bath
● Water wise garden
● Fynbos Walk
● Sculpture Garden
● Van Riebeeck's Hedge

Other than strolling in the garden admiring the well-tended gardens there is plenty to do at Kirstenbosch.

The Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway nicknamed the Boomslang (tree snake) is a curved steel and timber bridge that winds and dips its way through and over the trees taking visitors from the forest floor into and through the trees and above the canopy, giving spectacular panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, Garden and Cape Flats.

11) Permanent Exhibitions
Mambo Sculptures. The Sculpture Garden houses a permanent but ever-changing exhibition of African stone sculptures. Each sculpture is a unique original, sculpted by artists in the Shona tradition originating in Zimbabwe.
Two animal bronzes by Dylan Lewis can be found at the Centre for Home Gardening.
A bust of Nelson Mandela stands beside the pepper-bark tree (Warburgia salutaris) that Nelson Mandela planted on his visit to Kirstenbosch on 21 August 1996
Cape Clawless Otter in the Otter Pond, a very lifelike sculpture of the elusive Cape clawless otter.

12) Restaurants
Kirstenbosch offers three different restaurants:
● moyo Kirstenbosch
African charm at moyo Kirstenbosch, near the Visitors' Centre (Gate 1). Dinner is only served on Friday evenings only. Booking is essential.
Open Saturday to Thursday 9am to 6pm
Friday 9am to 11pm
+27 21 762 9585

● The Kirstenbosch Tea Room
Breakfast, lunch, salads, sandwiches, soups, tea, cakes and desserts are served at The Kirstenbosch Tea Room, at the Centre for Home Gardening (Gate 2). This popular venue has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. It is open every day, except Christmas Day, from 8.30am – 5pm
+27 (0)21 797 4883 or 074 142 1100

● vida e caffè at Kirstenbosch
Take a coffee break; good coffee, espresso, pastries, light meals and treats at vida e caffè. At the Visitors’ Centre (Gate 1), vida e caffè can be visited without entering the Garden or paying the garden entry fee.
Open daily from 7am to 7pm.

13) Shopping
The Kirstenbosch Garden Centre is a retail nursery that stocks a wide variety of indigenous plants, as well as a range of garden accessories.

The Kirstenbosch Gift Shop sells a wide range of gifts, curios, clothing, home ware, botanical cosmetics and Kirstenbosch memorabilia.

The Botanical Society Bookshop sells a wide range of books on gardening, flora, fauna and natural history, as well as educational children's books and stationery.

The African stone sculptures exhibited in the Sculpture Garden, and the range of smaller sculptures on display in the Visitors' Centre can be purchased from the Mambo Exports sales office situated in the Visitors' Centre.
+27 21 761 0065

Venues within Kirstenbosch
● Old Mutual Conference and Exhibition Centre
● Weddings at Kirstenbosch
● Kirstenbosch is a wonderful venue for a wedding and offers two venues for wedding receptions in the
● Garden and wedding packages
● The Marquee Lawn, with spectacular views and easy access to the car park, is ideal for large functions and dinners.
● The Lecture Hall hosts many horticultural events, art exhibitions, and the Wednesday Talks. It is fully booked and is not available for hire.
● The Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts, Christmas Carols and various other events are held here.
● Kirstenbosch Manor Guesthouse has several room and a separate cottage. Can be hired as a venue for weddings & conferences.

Compton Herbarium
The main research programme at the Compton Herbarium is to document the plant diversity of the Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR).

Spring Concerts
Spring Concerts are very popular with locals, held at the Concert Stage. Scheduled local bands, musical artists, and Christmas Carols are held on Sunday evenings throughout the Summer months. Tickets are booked online at Webtickets.

Galileo Open Air Cinema Kirstenbosch
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Newlands, Cape Town
Every Wednesday, from November to April.
Doors open at 6pm movie starts at Sunset
+27 71 471 8728

13) Walks and Hikes within Kirstenbosch

Stinkwood Trail
It is an easy circular route through the forest between Skeleton and Window Gorges, where the largest and oldest trees on the estate can be found. It starts and ends at the Fragrance Garden.
45 min 1.45km

Yellowwood Trail
The trail starts and ends at the Fragrance Garden. Walking clockwise it follows Smuts Track, beside Skeleton Stream, as far as Skeleton Waterfall on the 300m contour path, and crosses Nursery Stream twice on the return path. Look out for the large yellowwood trees.
1½ hours 3km

Silvertree Trail
The Silvertree Trail is a long, circular trail that crosses the entire Kirstenbosch estate via the 300m contour path, from Cecilia Plantation in the south, up to Dassieklip and back along the lower contour path via Lubbert's Gift. It starts and ends at Rycroft Gate (Gate 3) and passes through the shimmering silver trees that grow wild on the slopes behind and above the Garden
A 3 hour 7.7km Walk

Boekenhout Trail
The Boekenhout Trail is a short, but fairly steep, circular trail through forest. The trail starts at the Old Dam (just north of the Erica Garden). The dominant tree on this trail is Rapanea melanophloeos, the boekenhout, or Cape beech. One can get an unusual view of the mountain from underneath Castle Rock and Nursery Buttress. The dominant tree on this trail is Rapanea melanophloeos, the boekenhout, or Cape beech
30 min 0.45km

Braille Trail
It is a short, self-guided trail that gives unsighted people the chance to discover an indigenous forest, unassisted, and encourages everyone to explore the forest with all their senses. The trail starts and ends at the Fragrance Garden. The entire trail is outlined by a guide rope, has no steps. Boardwalks take visitors over rough or wet terrain. Wheelchair users can take the trail but will need assistance as the path is relatively steep and the surface is rough and uneven.
15min 0.45km

Walks Starting in Kirstenbosch
The Contour Path runs above Kirstenbosch and can be followed south to Cecilia Forest and Constantia Nek, or North to Newlands Forest, Rhodes Memorial around Devil’s Peak to the Cable Station.

Kirstenbosch to Constantia Nek
This 6km route for both hikers and joggers is almost all in the shade. Leaves from the Top Gate. Look out for spectacular view and Proteas. The walk is easy and therefore, ideal for families.
This route is easy.
2 hours minimum

Nursery Ravine Trail
This walk starts in Kirstenbosch Gardens and is in shade through the forest. There are a few sections of rockfall and ladders are provided to help climbers were needed. Keep left to Nursery Ravine. The descent of Nursery Ravine (which is steeper than the ascent) will bring one back to the contour path and one can then walk back to the Gardens.

Skeleton Gorge
A longer walk, follow the signs from Kirstenbosch Gardens to the top of Skeleton Gorge (Breakfast Rock marks the top of the gorge) and then make your way along the Eastern flank to Maclear’s Beacon which is the highest point on Table Mountain.

The views of the entire Table Mountain chain all the way to Cape Point are superb! From here you can walk across the Central Table and an about 60 minutes later you should arrive at the cable car station and you can ride back down.

Please Note:
Please do not forget that you are on a mountain and the weather can turn quickly. You should always carry a light but warm jacket with you, as well as plenty of water and sunblock. Never walk on your own and always have a fully charged cell phone with you.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Rhodes Drive, Newlands
Telephone +27 21 799 8783
Ticket Office +27 21 799 8782
Garden Office (weekdays only) +27 21 799 8899

Operational Hours
September to March (Summer) Mon-Sun 8am – 7pm
April to August (Winter) Mon-Sun 8am – 6pm
Conservatory Mon-Sun 9am – 5pm

Quick Facts

Province: Western Cape
Country: South Africa
Address: Newlands, Cape Town, 7700

Why go?

- Home of the Newlands Rugby Stadium and Cricket Grounds
- Visit the Ohlsson's Cape Breweries and the Josephine Mill
- Cape Town City Centre is roughly a 16-minute drive away
- Plenty superb restaurants including: Italian Kitchen; Basilico; Bihari Indian Restaurant; Rock Sushi Thai; Mama Roma; Toad & Josephine; Barristers; The Creamery
- Great bars to choose from including the Forrester's Arms; Springbok Pub Newlands
- Close to the world-famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
- Visit the Newlands Forest, perfect for hikes with kids and dogs
- Vineyard Hotel Gardens
- Montebello design centre
- The Barnyard Gallery
- Gateway to Newlands

History icon


The Governor in 1700, Willem van der Stel, was granted land 9km outside Cape Town, which he named De Nieuwe Land which was developed as a country lodge. It remained in the hands of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and was a residence for company officials. Over the years is was sold to private individuals and then back to the government. The village of Newlands developed around 1860 at the same time the railway line was built.

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